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Young adventurer makes a pit stop

Mike Perham, the 16-year-old British teen rivaling U.S. sailor Zac Sunderland for the title of the world’s youngest solo circumnavigator, was forced to make a pit stop in Cascais, Portugal a week after his departure from Portmouth, England, according to a recent press release.

The autopilot and generator on TotallyMoney, his chartered Open 50, malfunctioned and he needed to head into port in order to make the necessary repairs. In an interview with Soundings, Perham’s father, Peter, says it was a matter of fixing the connections on both pieces of equipment, and his son — as of Tuesday morning — had gotten back to his goal to cover 21,600 nautical miles in four-and-a-half months.

“I switched on the generator [and] within a few minutes, it switched itself off and came up with an alarm saying “exhaust overheat.” Incredible how these days your generator will actually tell you what’s up,” Perham wrote in his online blog. “A shame they don’t tell you how to fix it though.”

Perham has already become the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic at age 14 and continues to hold the title. While Sunderland had originally planned to complete the journey in 2010, he’ll be bumping his deadline up by a year in order to keep up with his British competitor, according to the report.

“Unforeseen complications like this are bound to arise on a project of this scope,” says spokesman Kizzi Nkwocha in the report. “However, it is a minor hitch and [Perham] remains confident in his boat.”

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— Elizabeth Ellis